Waddle waxes lyrical
We have all returned safely from our Football Focus expedition to Sheffield Wednesday. The Hillsborough trip bought back plenty of memories. I was a student in Sheffield in the late 1990s and used to pay £5 to sit in the uncovered wedge between the North Stand and the Leppings Lane end. Back then, Wednesday were in the Premier League.
As I mentioned last week, Wednesday were chasing league titles and reaching cup finals in the early 1990s. They also boasted a squad filled with internationals... and four of England's starting X1. But then financial mismanagement left the club millions of pounds in debt and controlled by the bank manager.
Players came in on huge wages with no clause in their contract to cover the club against relegation. When Wednesday subsequently dropped out of the Premier League, they were crippled by the wage structure and - like many - took another hit when they gambled on the new ITV digital deal at the start of the millennium.
There was much better news for the club on Friday night when they were able to announce fresh investment, starting with £2m to keep the Inland Revenue at bay until the end of the season.
Some have suggested the announcement was timed to coincide with our arrival but - although it sounds nice - I think the club and the bosses at the bank have more important things to worry about.
Following the news, chairman Howard Wilkinson talked to us about the start of a new era, while manager Alan Irvine spoke of his relief that, at long last, he might be able to talk football instead of finance.
Speaking to Alan Irvine and Chris Waddle in the Hillsborough changing rooms
One of the questions I often get asked is about how much extra technical stuff we need to do Focus live from a ground. The answer is not much.
In fact, at Hillsborough on Saturday, the whole team was housed in our little truck just outside the ground. In there was the editor, director, production assistant, graphics dude and a couple of people who run VT - they are in charge of all the video pieces that you see on the show and any material that needs to be turned around on the day.
It was great to get Chris Waddle on the show. He is still genuinely loved at Sheffield Wednesday and there are not many people who did not enjoy watching him in his prime.
He arrived at the stadium at 1100 BST so I had a good opportunity to chat to him beforehand and he has some fascinating views on the game. His main bugbear is the attitude of the modern-day footballer.
When he was a professional, he said team-mates would get to training early to join in any banter. Everything - whether it was eating dinner or throwing paper at a bin - had a competitive edge and they enjoyed each other's company and playing in the same side. Today, the wage packets are much bigger, the headphones far more prevalent and many players seem happy sitting on the sidelines.
Waddle reckons that if you asked each manager in the country how many players in their squad genuinely love the game of football they would tell you only two or three.
Waddle says the answer to the modern malaise is to use an incentive-based payment system. "How does a £1,000 win bonus motivate a player on £80,000 a week?" he asked.
For Waddle, a much lower basic wage should be allied to larger bonuses for winning games, reaching finals and winning trophies. If the modern player is motivated by money, then at least make them work for it, is his view. Interested to know what you think.
Mark Lawrenson was on top form on Saturday - despite being caught eating a bacon sandwich on air. Calling Tom Hicks and George Gillett "buffoons" seems to have gone down well with Liverpool fans. Michael Vaughan's revelation that he declared early against Bangladesh in 2005 so he could watch Sheffield Wednesday's play-off win over Hartlepool was well received by some of you, too.
Waddle also mentioned in the Focus Forum that he still occasionally turns out for an over-35s side in Sheffield. Imagine playing at right-back after a dodgy curry the night before and seeing Waddle running at you and doing that funky step-over.
This could start an interesting discussion on former sport stars past their sell-by date that you have either seen in action or played against.
I once played six-a-side football with former Manchester United and England winger Gordon Hill. He could not run but just sat in the middle of the pitch controlling the game and firing the ball in the back of the net.
At half-time, he asked us which corner we wanted him to score his goals in during the second half. We picked top left and he promptly bashed in another six before an embarrassed opposition were eventually spared further humiliation by the final whistle.
So send in your anecdotes on that one and also questions for Alan Hansen, who will be joining Lee Dixon on the Focus sofa this weekend. We will be looking ahead to the first Merseyside derby and reflecting on a week in the High Court for Liverpool.
Martin Keown has spent the day learning to be a referee as we take a look at the art of tackling, while Eduardo will be telling us about life at Shaktar Donetsk and taking on former club Arsenal in the Champions League. We will also find out how Roberto Di Matteo does when he faces West Brom supporters for a fans forum.
As ever, the best way to keep across the programme is to find me at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc